Maccabi Tel Aviv fell to Bayern Munich 85-82 in Euroleague action at Yad Eliyahu as their record dropped to 1-2 on the continental season. The German squad dominated the yellow-and-blue throughout the first half forcing a total of 18 turnovers while Vladimir Lucic and Paul Zipser hit their shots over the forty minutes as Andrea Trinchieri’s team took the win. Ante Zizic was busy for Maccabi during the first three quarters while Scottie Wilbekin scored 15 fourth quarter points as he tried in vain to will the hosts to the victory.
Lucic led Bayern with 26 points, Zipser added 16 points and former Maccabi center Jalen Reynolds scored 14 points in the win. Wilbekin was the high scorer for Ioannis Sfairpoulos’s squad with 27 points while Zizic chipped in 19 points in the defeat.
“Bayern played better and we didn’t have good ideas and clear mind with what to do,” explained a disappointed Sfairopoulos. “We turned over the ball way too many times in the first half and it gave us problems on defense and offense. Every time we tried to come back they scored at the end of a clock and that showed that there was a lack of concentration, but we fought to the end and we could have stolen the win.”
Wilbekin echoed his coach’s sentiments, “We gave them some easy ones and they were able to hit some tough ones with hands in their face. We have to do a better job earlier on in the game and not let them get into a rhythm. They played harder than us, went for all the loose balls and we made unforced turnovers as we kept shooting ourself in the foot. We had a short preseason and we have to figure things out.”
Vladimir Lucic and Ante Zizic traded baskets early on for Bayern Munich and Maccabi Tel Aviv respectively as Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad held a slight 8-7 lead midway through the first quarter. Angelo Caloiaro scored a reverse layup but former Yellow-and-Blue center Jalen Reynolds got busy in the paint for the visitors, however, Chris Jones hit a triple for the hosts as the score was knotted up at 15-15 after ten minutes.
Reynolds continued his hot streak with two more baskets and TJ Bray scored a 3-pointer forcing Maccabi to call a timeout as Bayern led 22-15 early on in the second quarter. Othello Hunter got into the mix with an alleyoop dunk but Paul Zipser scored a pair from behind the arc to give Bayern a 30-21 advantage with 4:20 left in until halftime. Zizic hit a sweet jumper as Maccabi’s 14 turnovers helped helped Andrea Trinchieri’s team take a 34-25 lead after twenty minutes.
Dragan Bender and Scottie Wilbekin each nailed a 3-pointer but Jajuan Johnson scored in the paint while Lucic found nothing but net from downtown to give Bayern a 41-34 lead midway through the third quarter. Reynolds hit a jumper right in Caloiaro’s face, Zipser also scored as Oz Blayzer countered at the other end with a wide open triple. But a red hot Wade Baldwin scored three buckets in a row for Bayern to keep them ahead but a Blayzer put back, a Wilbekin 3-pointer and a layup pulled the yellow-and-blue to within five points, 60-55 as the game headed into the final frame.
Lucic and Tyler Dorsey each found the bucket from deep to get the fourth quarter underway but a Nihad Dedovic layup and yet another triple by Zipser bumped the Bayern lead back up to 69-58 with 8:27 remaining in regulation. Hunter found points in the paint, Lucic countered with his third 3-pointer of the contest and Reynolds scored a tough basket inside as the contest headed towards a thrilling end.
Wilbekin got busy with a quick nine points to cut the Bayern lead to 77-73 with 2:32 left in the frame. But Lucic went from long distance yet again as Wilbekin heaved up a last second Hail Mary 3-pointer that missed the mark as the visitors took a hard earned 85-82 victory back to Germany.